Chesterton Tribune



Mathias working to repair splash pad, but rain hampering efforts

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Chesterton Park Superintendent Bruce Mathias has no way of knowing when exactly the splash pad at Chesterton Park may be returned to service, but he’s got a plan to make it so.

Following a week of heavy rains, early in May, the vault containing the splash pad’s operational systems was lifted up and out of the ground by hydrostatic pressure, shearing the pipes below the vault right off.

While Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann and Town Engineer Mark O’Dell reach out to the splash pad’s manufacturer--Splash Zone of Mesa, Ariz.--to discuss warranties and related matters, Mathias himself has a “game plan,” as he reported to the Town Council at its meeting Tuesday night.

Step 1, completed already: Cut off electric service to the splash pad.

Step 2: Dig a trench around the vault and dismantle the pipes.

Step 3: Backhoe the vault out of the ground and get it out of the way.

Step 4: Pour a slab of concrete at the bottom of the hole, “so the vault will never move again.”

Step 5: Replace and re-connect the pipes.

But Mathias was unable to give the council a timeline and couldn’t say when the work will be done and the splash pad ready for use. Blame--again--the weather. “If it keeps raining like this, who knows?” Mathias noted. “It just slows everything down.”

“It’s just hard to get in there and do the work,” O’Dell confirmed. “The ground is completely saturated.”

Member Nate Cobbs, R-4th, was curious about one thing: “Will the vendor help out with the cost?” he asked.

“That’s in the hands of legal right now,” O’Dell replied.


In other business, Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg reported that two more projects being partially funded by a 50/50 Community Crossings state infrastructure grant have begun: the re-pave of South 11th Street between Park Ave. and 1100N (contract price: $279,542.25) ; and South Eighth Street from Broadway to West Porter Ave. ($79,847). The contractor: Reith-Riely Construction Company, which is now in the process of milling both roadways.

Schnadenberg told the Chesterton Tribune after the meeting that the rain has slowed things down somewhat but that he’s hopeful both roadways will be re-surfaced this week.

Meanwhile, Walsh & Kelly Inc. is set to begin two other Community Crossings paving jobs on Monday, June 10: 100E from 1100N to 1050N ($83,218.40); West Porter Ave. from South Calumet Road to South Eighth Street ($107,755.75); and 15th Street from Woodlawn Ave. to Washington Ave. ($115,813.60).


Meanwhile, members voted unanimously to authorize an expenditure of $42,000 from the town’s share of the riverboat casino tax. Of that, $30,000 will be used for sidewalk replacement, as Schnadenberg works down a three-year wish list:

--Several sections along the east side of Fifth Street, from Bailey Elementary School to Grace Lane.

--Several sections along the west side of Fifth Street by Westchester Intermediate School.

--Along Second Street, from 740 S. Second St. to Washington Ave.

--Areas along West Porter Ave. from Fifth Street to Eighth Street.

--East Indiana Ave. from Wilson Street to Landman Street.

--West side of Landman Street from East Morgan Ave. south to the alley.

--West side of Third Street from West Porter Ave. north to the alley.

--West side of Fourth Street from West Morgan Ave. south to Lincoln Ave.

--North side of West Indiana Ave. from Sixth Street to 15th Street.

--East side of South Calumet Road from East Porter Ave. to Jefferson Ave.

Schnadenberg did say that, given the heavy re-paving schedule this season, the Street Department may not use the whole of the $30,000 or get as far down the list as he would like, all things being equal.

The remaining $12,000 will be used to continue the trip-hazard grinding program, which is about to finish in the Tanglewood subdivision and begin in the Golfview Estates subdivision.


Posted 5/29/2019




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